Sen. Franken has 'deep concern' about Google Glass app NameTag

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is worried about the privacy implications of a new facial recognition app.

In a letter on Wednesday, Franken expressed "deep concern" about NameTag, a facial recognition app for Google Glass devices that have been "jailbroken" to circumvent Google's ban on facial recognition tools.

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Franken, chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy, asked NameTag to delay its launch until there are best practices for facial recognition technology, such as those that will come out of a Commerce Department initiative beginning this week.

“According to promotional materials, NameTag lets strangers get a broad range of personal information — including a person’s name, photos, and dating website profiles — simply by looking at that person’s face with the Glass camera," Franken said in his letter.

"This is apparently done without that person’s knowledge or consent, which crosses a bright line for privacy and personal safety.

"At a minimum, NameTag should only identify people who have given the app permission to do so."

In a statement, Franken said he is especially concerned about the app's use of information on dating websites.

"It is easy to envision how this technology could facilitate harassment, stalking, and other threats to personal security," he said. "Your company has an obligation to protect users from these threats.”